Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yampa River.

The Yampa was our original destination river. The CO State Park Rangers advised us to let it drop some before we attempted it, hence the days on Williams Fork, Steamboat Lake and the day hiking to Cross Mountain Canyon. The Yampa went right by the State Campground just west of Heyden where we stayed and I put a stick in the ground where it met shore. After 5-6 days it finally dropped about 3-4 inches. We picked the section with no diversion damns nor narrow twisty spots (directly downstream from Steamboat) where we could be forced into a strainer, to give it a go.
After aborting the plan to get to a landing 32 miles downstream to drop off our shuttle vehicle (we have a van and a street motorcycle) from our put in due to it being an extreme cow path that if it rained we'd never make it out of, we decided to add 12 miles to the 32 and make a 42 mile day.
If I'd have had a dirt bike or used my mtn. bike, it would have been great fun, but it was harrowing to say the least on my STeed.

 My return track in the middle. The ruts were 4-6" deep at least.
 We never did get to the river....just turned back.
 With the water moving at  around 5 miles mph, we figured we could to this 6-7 hours. We were pretty accurate.
This run goes through Duffy Canyon.
Mac in front, Bogie in back. Long time co-workers, friends and probably have spent as much time in a canoe together as most couples now a-days have spent in bed together. Going on close to 25 years, I'd guess.
Bogie is my BIL, we married sisters, we all attended the same high school together in WI.

Refreshment break. Also had some cheese and sausage.

Father and Son combo, Tom (Dad) on the left, Josh on the right. Great guys who were fun both on and off the water.
 We also saw some elk on Williams Fork River and a few antelope and Muley's while driving.

Again, a lot of carnage as this year set record flows with combined heavy snow falls and abnormal high rain amounts...only 10-14 days before we got there. All the canoe landings were wiped out and many of the campgrounds had been underwater.
 The water had to 6-8 feet higher (the banks were 3-4 feet high) to have carried these large trees up into the pastures. There were many dozens of them piled up.

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